Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The end of an era

When I first started blogging back in 2009, I did so with the intention that only my family and real life friends would be reading it. I figured blogging was an easy way to avoid having the exact same "So, how's Canberra?" conversation five times a week.

As is usually the way, writing a blog leads to reading dozens and dozens of other blogs. Somewhere along the way, I stumbled across Rachael King's blog. And that led to a whole group of other blogs. And they all had one thing on common: they were all members of a website called 20Something Bloggers.

So, after some further investigation and a small case of "oh God, what am I doing??", I signed up. And it changed my life forever. The forums were equal parts hilarious, feelsy and ridiculous. The chat was...usually pretty dead at times I was able to hang out in there, but it was still hilarious and over the top and brilliant.

When 20SB announced that they were holding a summit in Chicago about two weeks before I was planning on going to the US in 2011, I made the rather rash and spontaneous decision to change my plans and go. To a city where I knew no one. To attend a summit with a bunch of people I'd never met before. I didn't even know if anyone I knew was actually going to go, but I took the chance anyway.

And sure, it was nerve wracking. And sure, I basically spent half of the cocktail party sitting in a corner in terror. But it was so, so worth it.

So many of my best friends came out of the 20SB community. People that I talk to every day. People that I collaborate with every day. People whose faces I get to see on a daily basis every August. People who understand. People who are there when I need someone to talk to. People who send me ridiculous emails and text messages and tweets. People in countries all over the world who I can't live without.

Tomorrow, the 20SB community is closing down. And though I haven't been active there since I turned 30, I'll miss it enormously. So here's to us, 20SBers. Life may not have always been easy, but we've had each other's backs the whole way. And I'm grateful for each and every one of you.

Except that girl who cheated me out of a chicken trophy. I hope she stands on a Lego*.

K xx


*What? No, I'm not even remotely bitter about something that happened three years ago........

6 comments:

  1. I haven't been active there for awhile, either, but I'm sad to see it go.


    And, um, I wish I knew the chicken trophy story. :)

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  2. I need to read this book! I've had it for awhile and haven't read it yet. Sadly, along with most of my books, it got packed away into storage after the fire, so I can't wait until we're reunited.

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  3. I haven't been active in a while either but damn, knowing that 20sb won't be there anymore is a weird feeling.
    Also, I'm not sure why but this "Tomorrow, the 20SB community is closing down. And though I haven't been
    active there since I turned 30, I'll miss it enormously. So here's to
    us, 20SBers. Life may not have always been easy, but we've had each
    other's backs the whole way. And I'm grateful for each and every one of
    you." gave me chills while reading.

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  4. Aww, that's so cool that you had that awesome community when you started. :') I feel kind of like that with this writing community I was in that kind of just recently shut down. *sobs* But it's for teens and I GUESS I NEED GROW UP ANYWAY.
    Also, GO YOU, for taking the risk and just going to that meet-up/convention thingie. ;-)

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  5. Okay, SO. The chicken trophy story. In 2012, I was one of 20SB's featured bloggers of the month. And at the end of that year, they decided that instead of making "best blogger" one of the Bootleg categories, they were going to make it a separate thing on its own. And instead of limiting it to the 20SB community, they were going to open it up so that everyone could vote. And the prize for best blogger of the year was going to be this ridiculous trophy with a chicken on it.


    And I wanted that chicken trophy SO FREAKING BADLY. But every time I looked at the votes, I was somehow a handful of votes behind this one girl. Which seemed totally weird, because the month that she'd won featured blogger, there'd only been like 6 people vote and she was really surprised to get it because she'd only joined 20SB like two months earlier and hadn't been very active.


    Anyway, it turned out that she'd written a blog post asking people to vote for her and saying that she didn't really care about getting best blogger or the chicken trophy, she just wanted the nice bump in visitor numbers. Which, SERIOUSLY?!


    A bunch of us went all out on Facebook and Twitter getting people to vote for me, but no matter what we did, she was still 5-10 votes ahead. Turns out you could clear your cache and basically votes as many times as you wanted. So yeah. That bitch stole my chicken trophy. (I'm sure she's lovely. Just...not an ideal representation of the 20SB community)

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  6. Oh, I do remember voting for Featured Blogger! But I forgot there was a chicken trophy involved. I don't think I was aware of the campaign for you to beat her, but I know I voted for you.

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